Draft The DB Position- 01/14/2000
The 49ers have already declared that this will be a defensive draft, thus the thorough examining of defensive players. With the recent firing of defensive backs coach Greg Brown coupled with the exploitation of the 49ers secondary this past season, it is quite obvious that the 49ers will be looking to upgrade the defensive back position. The firing of coach Brown is a start, though Brown didn't have the talent to work with this past season, he most certainly did in the past and even then the 9ers defensive backfield was nothing to boast about. Already rumors of his replacement have begun; former 49ers are being mentioned for the job such as Brett Maxie, Eric Wright and Ronny Lott as well as current strong safety Tim McDonald. Any of the aforementioned should infuse some strength to the defensive secondary, but so will some of last season draft picks.
The 49ers draft last year contributed very little this past season mostly due to injury. The 49ers drafted two defensive secondary players in the '99 draft, Anthony Parker and Peirson Prioleau. Both are big and strong, but while the 49ers believe Parker will be able to eventually start at corner for the team, Prioleau seems destined to safety. Unlike Parker, Prioleau did see action this season, and was moderate at the corner position. The need for some more defensive secondary talent is obvious and the 49ers are likely to use their second and third pick in this area regardless of where those picks may fall.
Ahmed Plummer of Ohio State is a senior who is a senior standing at 6-1, 190 pounds. He has everything the 49ers are looking for in a corner size, speed, athleticism and seems to be following in the tradition of Buckeye cover men. Plummer is could be the only cornerback picked in the first round of the draft, he is expected to go around the 15th pick. This would put him almost out of reach for the 49ers. He is certainly not a top 3 pick and unless the 49ers get really lucky and he drops down to the second round they would either have to trade up or down to get him.
Another possible pick is Mark Roman of Louisiana State a senior that stands 5-11, 185 pounds. Roman is a very quick and versatile back. He is what some would call a ball hawk and has the ability to break up plays down field. He has the size to cover bigger WRs in the league and is fast enough to go with the quick ones. Teams however are not expecting to pick Roman in the first round.
Mario Edwards of Florida State a senior that is 6-0, 185 is yet another possibility. Edwards struggled slightly this past season, and would benefit greatly from some NFL coaching. He does have the agility and size to make it in the NFL though and would be a possible middle pick for the 49ers.
The 49ers may turn towards a junior in this year’s draft. In that case they may opt for Leonard Myers of Miami (Fla.) he stands 5-11, 190 pounds. He is a tough player and has good cover skills, he is also a good tacklers in run support, and is smart enough to play in the NFL.
Brian Gray of Brigham Young is a large senior standing at 6-1, 210 pounds. Gray is one of the largest corners available in the draft this season and is a versatile player to boot. Gray should have no problem being physical in the NFL but may have to refine his skills before he becomes a permanent fixture on any team.
The cornerback pool this season is not as large as it has been in the past. Though Plummer stands out from the group, this draft will have a tough time competing with last seasons where 45 defensive backs were chosen. The 49ers are likely to select at least two DBs this year, and with any luck they will get Plummer without a trade.
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